I remember David Zwirner Gallery back in the 1990s, before Chelsea, when the New York art world was much smaller and more manageable.
On this week’s art crime blotter: a Chinese artist was reprimanded for his “sexual calligraphy” videos, a $20-million trove of stolen art was seized in Istanbul, and a relic containing a drop of Pope John Paul II’s blood was stolen from Cologne Cathedral.
On this week’s art crime blotter: a trucker took down an Antony Gormley statue, vandals hammered a shiny public sculpture, and a Swiss dealer got in trouble for selling stolen Picassos to a Russian billionaire.
Some curious creatures have arrived in City Hall Park, although they look pretty miserable about it. Olaf Breuning’s “The Humans,” with its loop of anthropomorphic figures showing a story of humans evolving from fish to fisher king, has each whimsical figure sporting a deep frown upon their marble faces. While they’re definitely the most charming highlight of the new Lightness of Being Public Art Fund sculpture exhibition, there are 11 artists with playful art to discover elsewhere around the park.
This line says it best: “Austrian artist Franz West, who died yesterday, was a sculptural jester, a provocateur, a maker of benign and threatening objects.”
The Arsenale and its Corderie (Rope Walk) compose the remainder of the curatorial effort of the Biennale’s director. It is the sprawling nasty sibling of the Padiglione Centrale, and is somewhat of a chore to tackle. The entire layout of the Arsenale this year feels disjointed. On a whole, I felt like there was a dearth of strong work. I believe Curiger had aspirations to move beyond the trends of participatory art and ostentatious work seen everywhere else in Venice and other art fairs.
There’s no point in giving you a “review” of the mothership of art fairs in Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach, so I thought a photo essay with some observations were more appropriate.
I admit that I got a little bored after three hours of wandering around. I found myself seeing the same thing and getting the same numbness I get during marathon holiday shopping trips or walks through ancient souks … there’s only so much merchandise you can see in one stop.
It was still refreshing to see some galleries display the prices of their wares freely, and examples of excellent abstraction by names mostly absent from the art history survey books, but I was most shocked to discover what must be the most awful Basquiat I have even seen in my life.